Evening Prayer
Advent
Friday, 4 December 2020
John of Damascus, Monk, Teacher of the Faith, c.749 [Commemoration]
Nicholas Ferrar, Deacon, Founder of the Little Gidding Community, 1637 [Commemoration]

Preparation

O God, make speed to save us.
AllO Lord, make haste to help us.

Reveal among us the light of your presence
Allthat we may behold your power and glory.

One or more of the following is said or sung:

this or another prayer of thanksgiving

Blessed are you, Sovereign God,
creator of light and darkness,
to you be glory and praise for ever.
As evening falls, you renew your promise
to reveal among us the light of your presence.
May your word be a lantern to our feet
and a light upon our path
that we may behold your coming among us.
Strengthen us in our stumbling weakness
and free our tongues to sing your praise.
Blessed be God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
AllBlessed be God for ever.

A Song of Mercy and Truth (page 559), the following or another suitable hymn

Creator of the stars of night,
thy people’s everlasting light,
O Jesu, Saviour of us all,
regard thy servants when they call.

Thou, grieving at the bitter cry
of all creation doomed to die,
didst come to save a ruined race
with healing gifts of heavenly grace.

Thou camest, Bridegroom of the bride,
as drew the world to evening-tide,
proceeding from a virgin shrine,
the Son of Man, yet Lord divine.

At thy great name, exalted now,
all knees must bend, all hearts must bow,
and things in heaven and earth shall own
that thou art Lord and King alone.

To thee, O holy One, we pray
our judge in that tremendous day,
preserve us, while we dwell below,
from every onslaught of the foe.

All praise, eternal Son, to thee,
whose advent sets thy people free,
whom with the Father we adore,
and Spirit blest, for evermore.

Latin, tr: J M Neale
(Tune: LM)

This opening prayer may be said

That this evening may be holy, good and peaceful,
let us pray with one heart and mind.

Silence is kept.

As our evening prayer rises before you, O God,
so may your mercy come down upon us
to cleanse our hearts
and set us free to sing your praise
now and for ever.
AllAmen.

The Word of God

Psalmody

The appointed psalmody is said.

Psalm 16

Refrain: The Lord is at my right hand; I shall not fall.

1 Preserve me, O God, for in you have I taken refuge; 
I have said to the Lord, ‘You are my lord,
all my good depends on you.’

2 All my delight is upon the godly that are in the land, 
upon those who are noble in heart.

3 Though the idols are legion that many run after, 
their drink offerings of blood I will not offer,
neither make mention of their names upon my lips.

4 The Lord himself is my portion and my cup; 
in your hands alone is my fortune.

5 My share has fallen in a fair land; 
indeed, I have a goodly heritage. R

6 I will bless the Lord who has given me counsel, 
and in the night watches he instructs my heart.

7 I have set the Lord always before me; 
he is at my right hand; I shall not fall.

8 Wherefore my heart is glad and my spirit rejoices; 
my flesh also shall rest secure.

9 For you will not abandon my soul to Death, 
nor suffer your faithful one to see the Pit.

10 You will show me the path of life;
in your presence is the fullness of joy 
and in your right hand are pleasures for evermore.

Refrain: The Lord is at my right hand; I shall not fall.

Give to us, Lord Christ,
the fullness of grace,
your presence and your very self,
for you are our portion and our delight,
now and for ever.

Psalm 17

Refrain: Deliver me, O Lord, by your hand.

1 Hear my just cause, O Lord; consider my complaint; 
listen to my prayer, which comes not from lying lips.

2 Let my vindication come forth from your presence; 
let your eyes behold what is right.

3 Weigh my heart, examine me by night, 
refine me, and you will find no impurity in me. R

4 My mouth does not trespass for earthly rewards; 
I have heeded the words of your lips.

5 My footsteps hold fast in the ways of your commandments; 
my feet have not stumbled in your paths. R

6 I call upon you, O God, for you will answer me; 
incline your ear to me, and listen to my words.

7 Show me your marvellous loving-kindness, 
O Saviour of those who take refuge at your right hand
from those who rise up against them.

8 Keep me as the apple of your eye; 
hide me under the shadow of your wings,

9 From the wicked who assault me, 
from my enemies who surround me to take away my life. R

10 They have closed their heart to pity 
and their mouth speaks proud things.

11 They press me hard, they surround me on every side, 
watching how they may cast me to the ground,

12 Like a lion that is greedy for its prey, 
like a young lion lurking in secret places. R

13 Arise, Lord; confront them and cast them down; 
deliver me from the wicked by your sword.

14 Deliver me, O Lord, by your hand 
from those whose portion in life is unending,

15 Whose bellies you fill with your treasure, 
who are well supplied with children
and leave their wealth to their little ones.

16 As for me, I shall see your face in righteousness; 
when I awake and behold your likeness, I shall be satisfied.

Refrain: Deliver me, O Lord, by your hand.

Generous Lord,
deliver us from all envious thoughts,
and when we are tempted by the desire for wealth,
let us see your face;
for your abundance is enough to clothe our lack;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Each psalm or group of psalms may end with

AllGlory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and shall be for ever. Amen.

If there are two Scripture readings, the first may be read here, or both may be read after the canticle.

Isaiah 29.1-14

Ah, Ariel, Ariel,
   the city where David encamped!
Add year to year;
   let the festivals run their round.
Yet I will distress Ariel,
   and there shall be moaning and lamentation,
   and Jerusalem shall be to me like an Ariel.
And like David I will encamp against you;
   I will besiege you with towers
   and raise siege-works against you.
Then deep from the earth you shall speak,
   from low in the dust your words shall come;
your voice shall come from the ground like the voice of a ghost,
   and your speech shall whisper out of the dust.


But the multitude of your foes shall be like fine dust,
   and the multitude of tyrants like flying chaff.
And in an instant, suddenly,
   you will be visited by the Lord of hosts
with thunder and earthquake and great noise,
   with whirlwind and tempest, and the flame of a devouring fire.
And the multitude of all the nations that fight against Ariel,
   all that fight against her and her stronghold, and who distress her,
   shall be like a dream, a vision of the night.
Just as when a hungry person dreams of eating
   and wakes up still hungry,
or a thirsty person dreams of drinking
   and wakes up faint, still thirsty,
so shall the multitude of all the nations be
   that fight against Mount Zion.


Stupefy yourselves and be in a stupor,
   blind yourselves and be blind!
Be drunk, but not from wine;
   stagger, but not from strong drink!
For the Lord has poured out upon you
   a spirit of deep sleep;
he has closed your eyes, you prophets,
   and covered your heads, you seers.

The vision of all this has become for you like the words of a sealed document. If it is given to those who can read, with the command, ‘Read this’, they say, ‘We cannot, for it is sealed.’ And if it is given to those who cannot read, saying, ‘Read this’, they say, ‘We cannot read.’


The Lord said:
Because these people draw near with their mouths
   and honour me with their lips,
   while their hearts are far from me,
and their worship of me is a human commandment learned by rote;
so I will again do
   amazing things with this people,
   shocking and amazing.
The wisdom of their wise shall perish,
   and the discernment of the discerning shall be hidden.

Canticle

A Song of the Spirit, or another suitable canticle, for example, number 57 (page 614) or number 72 (page 630), may be said

Refrain:

AllSurely I am coming soon.
Amen. Come, Lord Jesus! Alleluia.

1‘Behold, I am coming soon’, says the Lord,
‘and bringing my reward with me,
to give to everyone according to their deeds.

2‘I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last,
the beginning and the end.’

3Blessed are those who do God’s commandments,
that they may have the right to the tree of life,
and may enter into the city through the gates.

4‘I, Jesus, have sent my angel to you,
with this testimony for all the churches.

5‘I am the root and the offspring of David,
I am the bright morning star.’

6‘Come!’ say the Spirit and the Bride;
‘Come!’ let each hearer reply.

7Come forward, you who are thirsty,
let those who desire take the water of life as a gift.

Revelation 22.12-14, 16, 17

AllTo the One who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be blessing and honour and glory and might,
for ever and ever. Amen.

AllSurely I am coming soon.
Amen. Come, Lord Jesus! Alleluia.

Scripture Reading

One or more readings appointed for the day are read.

The reading(s) may be followed by a time of silence.

Matthew 13.24-43

He put before them another parable: ‘The kingdom of heaven may be compared to someone who sowed good seed in his field; but while everybody was asleep, an enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and then went away. So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared as well. And the slaves of the householder came and said to him, “Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where, then, did these weeds come from?” He answered, “An enemy has done this.” The slaves said to him, “Then do you want us to go and gather them?” But he replied, “No; for in gathering the weeds you would uproot the wheat along with them. Let both of them grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Collect the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.”

He put before them another parable: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in his field; it is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.’

He told them another parable: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour until all of it was leavened.’

Jesus told the crowds all these things in parables; without a parable he told them nothing. This was to fulfil what had been spoken through the prophet:
‘I will open my mouth to speak in parables;
   I will proclaim what has been hidden from the foundation of the world.’

Then he left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples approached him, saying, ‘Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field.’ He answered, ‘The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man; the field is the world, and the good seed are the children of the kingdom; the weeds are the children of the evil one, and the enemy who sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels. Just as the weeds are collected and burned up with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all evildoers, and they will throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Let anyone with ears listen!

A suitable song or chant, or a responsory in this or another form, may follow

My soul is waiting for you, O Lord:
in your word is my hope.
AllMy soul is waiting for you, O Lord:
in your word is my hope.
There is forgiveness with you,
so that you shall be feared.
AllIn your word is my hope.
Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit.
AllMy soul is waiting for you, O Lord:
in your word is my hope.

from Psalm 130

 

Gospel Canticle

The Magnificat (The Song of Mary) is normally said, or The Song of Christ's Glory (page 619) may be said

Refrain:

AllLord Jesus, you are the one who is to come,
the one whom we await with longing hearts.

1My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour;
he has looked with favour on his lowly servant.

2From this day all generations will call me blessed;
the Almighty has done great things for me
and holy is his name.

3He has mercy on those who fear him,
from generation to generation.

4He has shown strength with his arm
and has scattered the proud in their conceit,

5Casting down the mighty from their thrones
and lifting up the lowly.

6He has filled the hungry with good things
and sent the rich away empty.

7He has come to the aid of his servant Israel,
to remember his promise of mercy,

8The promise made to our ancestors,
to Abraham and his children for ever.

Luke 1.46-55

AllGlory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and shall be for ever. Amen.

Refrain:

AllLord Jesus, you are the one who is to come,
the one whom we await with longing hearts.

Prayers

Thanksgiving may be made for the day.

Intercessions are offered
for peace
for individuals and their needs

Prayers may include the following concerns from the cycle on pages 364–365

The Church, that she may be ready for the coming of Christ
The leaders of the Church
The nations, that they may be subject to the rule of God
Those who are working for justice in the world
The broken, that they may find God’s healing

A form of prayer found on page 377 may be used.

These responses may be used

Lord, in your mercy
hear our prayer

(or)

Lord, hear us.
Lord, graciously hear us.

Silence may be kept.

The Collect of the day is said

Almighty God,
give us grace to cast away the works of darkness
and to put on the armour of light,
now in the time of this mortal life,
in which your Son Jesus Christ came to us in great humility;
that on the last day,
when he shall come again in his glorious majesty
      to judge the living and the dead,
we may rise to the life immortal;
through him who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
AllAmen.

The Lord’s Prayer is said

Awaiting his coming in glory,
as our Saviour taught us, so we pray

AllOur Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours
now and for ever.
Amen.

(or)

Awaiting his coming in glory,
let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has taught us

AllOur Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.
Amen.

The Conclusion

May the Lord, when he comes,
find us watching and waiting.
AllAmen.

Let us bless the Lord. Alleluia, alleluia.
AllThanks be to God. Alleluia, alleluia.